A love letter for when your dreams feel too big for your body.

I’ve got emails and love notes sitting in my inbox right now from a wide array of creative, ambitious, beautiful, bold and brave young women I admire — all confirming that there are specific things about life as a young & ambitious Christian woman that need to be talked about more.

Oh, what I’d say if I could take every single one of you out for a giant cup of coffee… Every single mover & shaker. Every recent college grad. Every big dreamer. Every girl with a huge heart to love & serve others. Every creative thinker. Every girl who’s ever been told she’s less than breathtaking. Every girl who thinks she’s too [fill in the blank] to be loved. Every single middle, high school or college girl who’s ever walked into a Young Life club, and all of her leaders & friends, too.

First of all, I’d look you in eye and tell you (multiple times, until I got teary myself) that your ambition is not a burden. It’s not something you need to hide, disguise, or be ashamed of. Your ambition is a gift. The dreams that feel too overwhelmingly big for your body… [Yeah, I know, I have them too. And my heart hurts just thinking about how big and bold and uncomfortable they feel]… those are a gift too. And that worry you have about never meeting a man that’s not intimidated by that [Yep, you’re not alone]… by your ambition and dreams and independence? Allow yourself to let it go. One day you’ll meet one who tells you over and over again that’s what he loves most about you.

Then, I’d tell you that it’s possible to be a great leader AND a humble servant at the the same time. With complete transparency, I’m still figuring that one out, too. But I do know that it’s possible. Just look at Jesus. I think it has a lot to do with passionately pursuing the things deep in your heart that align with His design and His plans. And trusting that He will work in us and reveal the ways we can serve more and love deeper. More on this, coming soon. Because as much as I love pretty language like that, I also know that you want and need something that leads to actual assurance that those things in your heart are His design and His plans, and not your own. [That’s the less pretty part that no one likes to talk about.]

Then, we’d split a sugar cookie and I’d break out the hard stuff. I’d tell you, and also tell myself, that you’ll never find contentment & identity in most of the places you’re looking for it. Not in your major, your grades, your career, your relationships, the city you live in, the people you date, or the likes you get on social media. The answer is Jesus, and you know that. But how you say that with confidence, and believe it wholeheartedly, and live that out, is the trickier part… I know, believe me. It’s easy to say and hard to put into practice, right? Because the truth is that some of those things can make us happy. For a season… until they go away, or you give them up. Aren’t you tired of finding a new path to happiness and contentment in every new or challenging season of your life? I listened to a sermon podcast the other day where the pastor said, “Contentment is the cultivation of a satisfied heart. The capacity to be fully alive to God and fully alive to other people, in the here and now. To experience deep joy and deep peace even when we don’t have what we want or are in a situation we didn’t ask for.” Be fully alive to God, and fully alive to people. Right now. I’d look at you and say that until you realized that’s all you had to do. It’s that simple.

Then, I’d repeat all the truths you already know, but struggle to believe. You have nothing to prove. You’ve already been bought, with a price. You are worthy. You are set free. You are forgiven. You are blameless. You are breathtaking. You are adored. You are pursued. You are enough. When those dreams encourage you to step three feet further than you were planning to go, and all of the sudden you’re caught in a whirlwind of “what did I do and why did I do it and how am I going to be ok?” I’d tell you again and again … you’re always, always, always enough. And you’re definitely going to be ok.

I love you passionate, ambitious dreamer! You are a gift to the world and a gift to the kingdom! Your story is important and you are not alone.

Last thing — It’s ok to let someone fight for those dreams with you. To let someone love you past the surface level stuff. To let them into the spaces that feel weak and disjointed and broken and imperfect. If I know you, I know that’s not an easy thing to do. But life is so, so much better when we realize we don’t have to think and dream and fight alone. I promise.


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